CAPP Supports Robust Monitoring In Oil Sands Region

March 11, 2011 - Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers supports a robust environmental monitoring system in the oil sands region of northern Alberta.

"Reliable, long-term environmental monitoring of oil sands operations - based on sound science - is in everybody's best interest," said Dave Collyer, CAPP president. "Valuable data has been gathered by the existing monitoring system and ongoing review by independent scientists will help define how monitoring needs to evolve as the industry grows."

A scientific report released earlier this week agrees with the need for a world-class water monitoring system - highlighted by the oil and gas industry and the Alberta government in December 2010 - after several reports on environmental monitoring released in the past few months indicated improvements are required.

One of these reports, released by the Royal Society of Canada late last year, noted evidence on water quality impacts on the Athabasca River system suggests that oil sands development activities are not a current threat to aquatic ecosystem viability.

Despite recent news coverage suggesting otherwise, CAPP said as recently as an August 2010 news release that oil sands operations do impact the environment, and companies report data annually to the provincial and federal governments (read the release).

"The fact is all industries have an impact, oil and gas included," said Collyer. "Scientific monitoring, transparency and reporting processes are crucial to understanding industrial contaminants and balancing our need for environmental protection, economic growth and secure reliable energy supplies."

Different levels of government, industry and other stakeholders must work together to find the best way to deliver transparent and consistent monitoring results to meet the expectations of the public, while avoiding duplicate, inefficient processes that discourage investment.

"CAPP supported the scientific reviews of oil sands environmental monitoring and given the findings, we support improved monitoring. Our goal is long-term, responsible development and a robust monitoring system will help us achieve it," Collyer said.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce more than 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $100 billion-a-year. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.

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